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Fred A. Leuchter

Fred A. Leuchter is a former an expert in execution technology (he was a designer of electric chairs and gas chambers), whose career was ruined after he became a Holocaust revisionist. He is best known for producing a document entitled The Leuchter Report, describing his research after he traveled to Auschwitz to examine the possibility that there were facilities used for gassing the Jews. Wall samples were collected by this expert, and sent to a laboratory to be tested for exposure to cyanide. No traces of it were found. It was Leuchter who gave evidence in the trial of Ernst Zundel, which did not prevent Zundel from being convicted under a Canadian "false news" law.

Critics of Holocaust revisionism state that the scientific method used by Leuchter to examine the gas chambers was fatally flawed. They note that cyanide could penetrate the stone masonry of the gas chambers only to the depth of one-tenth of a human hair. Leuchter pulverized his brick samples and thus mixed the entire sample together, instead of only examining the surface of the bricks (where the cyanide traces may have been easier to find). More importantly, Leuchter did not examine the walls of the gas chambers until fifty years after they had been used, and his critics note that it would have been virtually impossible to discover any cyanide at all using his method.

Leuchter's plight has been subject of a documentary in 1999 by Errol Morris, entitled Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. Supporters of Zundel and Leuchter claim that Fred was harrased by Jewish groups, lost his job and his family life was consequently ruined. Critics, however, state that Leuchter's testimony in the film was more damning to his own reputation, and Zundel's. Famed critic Roger Ebert stated in his review of the film: "anyone who leaves Mr. Death in agreement with Leuchter deserves to join him on the loony fringe."

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